Return to a time when nature was more than a backdrop that you walked through or drove by, a time in your childhood where all the fairy tales had not been outgrown or explained away. Then imagination ran free, yet unacquainted with the adult world of ‘facts’. Here was a world not yet defined, not yet labeled and categorized. Remember finding that magical tree where anything and everything was possible, that secret space where trees became circus performers, magicians, dancers, and all things fantastical. It was a world so charged, so brimming with possibility that you could close your eyes and see the space through your whole body, with all your senses. It was a child’s world and only children can truly live there. I have explored this world throughout my life and work.
The scenes I depict do not exist in the physical world. Each piece is an invention born out of the process but like a newborn child, always a surprise. Through pouring and wiping, the application of brayer, palette knife, and sander, and sometimes the stroke of an actual brush each piece emerges from the white canvas. What coalesces there is an image where time and season, scale and shape become indefinite and fluid. The works are always full of wonderment of nature through a child’s eye. As in dreams or memories, everything is brighter, more fanciful, surprising, and magical. The world of the child will always belong to children but I invite you to visit it with me anew.
Marlene Rye has an A.B. from Smith College and an M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She has studied under Andrew Forge, Barbara Grossman, John Moore, and Martha Armstrong. Her work has been shown nationally and has been accepted into juried shows with distinguished curators from the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Guggenheim.